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What is Proximity Marketing?

While the phrase “location based” has been around and hyped in marketing for quite a few years, fewer marketers are familiar with a specific type of location-based marketing called “proximity” marketing (or hyperlocal marketing as it is sometimes titled). Proximity marketing is very unique from other types of location-based marketing and has many benefits – enough in fact for an entire company like Proximus Mobility to blossom.

So what is proximity marketing?
Unlike other methods of marketing via location that use GPS or cell tower triangulation, proximity marketing utilizes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to broadcast the content only within proximity of the specified location. This does three things:

  • 1. Increases the relevance of every message: All consumers receiving the content are nearby and demanding information.

  • 2. Increases the reach of the message: Not all phones have GPS technology. In contrast, all phones have the ability to access content by either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Though smartphones have made their way into the lives of nearly half the United States’ population, there is still 1 person for every 2 that has a feature phone instead. Why halve the potential audience?
  • 3. Increases the convenience of the message: a Wi-Fi signal can broadcast app-like content without the necessity of a consumer to download or a marketer to create a native app. Consumers away from home are likely harnessed by restrictive data plans or slow connections to carriers, while cash-strapped marketers don’t have the time or money to build 5+ versions of an app for different smartphone operating systems.



proximity marketing with feature phones

With proximity marketing, even out-of-date feature phones are within your marketing grasp.

Alright, but what relevance does location add?
Consumers walking around an area they are not familiar with are in essence half-lost, relying on you to help them find their way. Take advantage of this state and provide them with useful content for mutual benefit. There are four types of hyperlocal content:

  • 1. Digital Coupons – which by the way redeem at 10x the rate of print coupons

  • 2. Educational Content – At a service station, broadcast tips to take care of a car. At a theme park, broadcast a map of local food or attractions. At a grocery store, broadcast recipes using the food around the consumer.
  • 3. Promotional Content – At a restaurant or hotel, broadcast new renovations or menu items. At a retail store, broadcast new products or higher-margin items.
  • 4. Loyalty programs: If a customer is looking for deals, they may want more later. Obtain their data where they are most ready to share it.

Can my business use proximity marketing?
Essentially every business with a location can benefit from proximity marketing. We classify proximity marketing-ready locations in 8 categories:

  • 1. Large Retail: Spacious megastores – both niche and one-stop-shop – can give customers maps, coupons, and enroll customers in loyalty programs

  • 2. Malls: Indoor and outdoor malls have many retail locations vying for traffic. Individual stores or brands could utilize their own proximity marketing solution or property owners could blanket the entire mall – potentially building an ad network for revenue.
  • 3. Hotels: Inform guests about happy hour, restaurants, or enroll them in loyalty programs.
  • 4. Restaurants: Provide a menu, loyalty programs or even a game on users’ phones while they wait to be seated.
  • 5. Travel: Airports, subways and train stations can build ad networks and provide maps.
  • 6. Service Industries: Why should consumers’ minds leave your brand while sitting inside your location? Give them edutainment content to browse while on site getting a haircut or car repair.
  • 7. Entertainment Venues: Advertise upcoming concerts, sell tickets to games, and provide maps.
  • 8. Popular Public Areas: Atlantic Station in Atlanta, Times Square in New York – Popular retail environments can provide compelling content combined with an ad network.
  • 9. Popup Locations: Are you a public figure giving a speech in a park? Provide educational content with political stances and enroll supporters in a loyalty program.


proximity marketing in public places

Studies show users are constantly on their mobile devices.
Take advantage of this behavior and be where
consumers eyes are focused.

Proximity marketing is an extremely versatile form of location-based marketing that is tailor-made for today’s mobile society. We believe it fits your brand. Do you?





1 Comment for this entry

Connie C. Khan
April 15th, 2012 on 3:15 pm

Impressive publish! STICK WITH IT!










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